D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

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Jean-François Delcamp
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D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Jean-François Delcamp » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:40 am

Hello everyone,
Please start by downloading the latest version of volume D05.
If you are new to the course, please read this message to familiarize yourself with the conditions for participating in the lessons. You should also read the first message in lesson 1, where you will find advice on how to make the most of your study time and on the methods of practising that I recommend.



Now we are going to work on a series of exercises:
To render polyphony clearly, you have to be able to control the force applied by each of the fingers plucking the strings.
Here is a little exercise. The first few times that you try it, the exercise will seem impossible to master. Tell yourself that this difficulty, though very real, will be resolved after an hour of diligent work.


We'll start with 2 voices, exercise 107, page 159.
- Bring out the bass played with the thumb. Then bring out the soprano played with the ring finger.

Next, 3 voices, exercise 108 page 159
- Bring out the bass played with the thumb. Then bring out the soprano played with the ring finger. Then bring out the alto played with the middle finger.

And now 4 voices, exercise 109 page 159
- Bring out the bass played with the thumb. Then bring out the soprano played with the ring finger. Then bring out the alto played with the middle finger. Finally bring out the tenor played by the index finger.



Once you've managed to bring out a single note in a chord, you've got it beaten!
The easiest thing to start with is to bring out the bass with the thumb.
It can help to exaggerate the movement of whichever finger is plucking more strongly than the others, as I demonstrate on this video.

There are other ways of distinguishing one voice from another. You can apply a different articulation to one voice from that applied to another. For instance, you might play one voice staccato and the other legato. You can also distinguish voices by varying the timbre of each voice. For example, you could play the bass with the flesh of the thumb and the other voices with the nails. We'll see these other techniques in the next lessons.




Today we'll look at 5 pieces.
- page 18 Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
This piece in two sections is based on a sequence of 4 chords: D minor, C major, D minor, A major.
This sequence of 4 chords is repeated in bars 5 to 8, with the last two chords both incorporated into bar 7, in order to be able to finish on the tonic in bar 8, with a chord of D minor. Luys de Narvàez made use of the same contracting together of two chords in bar 7 of his Diferencias sobre guardame las vacas (previous lesson).
As for the rhythm, in the first section, bars 1 to 24, the beat is divided into 4 eighth notes (quavers). In the second section, bars 25 to 64, the beat is divided into 3 eighth notes (quavers). The tempo remains the same, with the overall length of a bar switching from a half note (minim) to a dotted quarter note (dotted crotchet).
Feel free to improvise on this sequence of 4 chords.



- page 46 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Menuet Anh. 132
This is a minuet with two voices, in the binary form (AABB). The minuet here is in E minor. The first part concludes in the key of the relative major, G major. The second part concludes in the main key, E minor.



- page 76 Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806-1856) Ländler opus 12 n°1
A Ländler based on 3 chords, A major, D major and E major (the three bass strings of the guitar). It's easy to make it ring out. The 3 eighth notes (quavers) which start the Ländler can be played freely, without strict tempo. This will help to emphasise (by contrast) the stability of the tempo from bar 9.



- page 86 Juliàn Arcas (1832-1882) Preludio en re mayor
This prelude is made up of arpeggios. The second part makes systematic use of the diminished 7th chord.




- page 108 Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja
Here we have a transcription in A minor by Juliàn Arcas. The work uses the rhythm of the polonaise.




I ask you first to work on all these exercises and tunes for a week and then to upload your recordings of:
- page 159 Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
- page 18 Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
- page 108 Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja


Good luck!


I thank Geoff (GeoffB) who has helped in the translation of my lessons into English.


Jean-François


Exam qualifying submissions: :
Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

Marko Räsänen
Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

Goran Penic
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

piero zaninetti
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

Pat Hargan
Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

Eric de Vries
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

Håvard.Bergene
Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja

Ismael González
Delcamp Polyhponie N°109
Hans Neusiedler (1508-1563) Wascha mesa
Cristóbal Oudrid (1825-1877) El postillon de la rioja
:( + ♫ = :)

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:08 am

I was talking about Delcamp fingerings in another thread. In my opinion there is an obvious mistake in Bach Menuet bar 21, where the 3rd upper voice note is marked to be fingered with '3' (the same finger as the bass note). I don't believe that ring finger barre is intended here, but the upper voice 3rd note should be fingered with '4'.

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by EricKatz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:05 am

I think it should be fingered "2".
Also in bar 9 the fingering of the last two 1/8 notes could be much more simple: 4 must be 3 and 3 must be 4.

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:34 am

Eric, I haven't tried your suggestions on the guitar yet, but I see the following problems with them:

Bar 9: Using '3' for the bass note f# will mean quite a stretch, as you would have to put that finger down while holding both '1' and '2' fingers on the 2nd fret to ensure legato sound. It looks to me that it would make it more difficult to play without gaps in sound when played in performance tempo. Could be no problem for your hands though.

Bar 21: I can't see how using '2' for the 3rd upper voice note would be easier than '4''? You would have to quickly move two fretting fingers (currently sounding a note) into different positions, instead of just one finger and preparing '4' which isn't being used well ahead in time. Again you need to consider the continuity of both voices.

Edit: I also changed the fingering in bars 3 and 11 (they're identical) to play the 3rd upper voice 'a' with finger '3' to avoid awkward jump with finger '1' from 'a' to 'c'. The 6th upper voice note 'a' I left as fingered in the sheet ('1'), because the stretch of using '3' there would have been too much for me.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by EricKatz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:08 pm

Hello Marko,

Bar 21: I made a little mistake. :desole: What I meant was: "the bass note (fis) with the 2nd finger, the upper voice note dis with the 3rd finger". The following upper note e with the 4th finger.
If it's done as you suggest, I think the shift from the 4th 1/8 note to the 5th will be very difficult. But as you can play it well, I can see no problem.
The same goes for the stretch in bar 9. It's easier for me then the fingering JFD suggests. But it might be a good idea to practise it though. There may be pieces in which there´s no alternative.

Your suggestion concerning bar (and 11) seems very usefull. Thanks!

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:56 pm

Eric de Vries wrote:Bar 21: I made a little mistake. :desole: What I meant was: "the bass note (fis) with the 2nd finger, the upper voice note dis with the 3rd finger". The following upper note e with the 4th finger.
If it's done as you suggest, I think the shift from the 4th 1/8 note to the 5th will be very difficult. But as you can play it well, I can see no problem.
I've been playing the following upper note e on the open 1st string. I don't think there is much difference what comes to transition between the 4th and 5th quavers, depending if you use 2 and 3 or 3 and 4. The hand is practically at the same position nevertheless before the position shift, and after little practice I haven't found that shift difficult at all, but as I said, I play the 'e' note on open string, which probably makes things a little easier.
Eric de Vries wrote:The same goes for the stretch in bar 9. It's easier for me then the fingering JFD suggests. But it might be a good idea to practise it though. There may be pieces in which there´s no alternative.
JFD fingering feels a little awkward for me when I'm not properly warmed up, but not really difficult anymore. He tends to use that kind of 'reversed' fingering in many places, and usually the motive is that one of the fingers can be used as a pivot. He uses the concept so much in D05 lessons, that I think he wants us to learn it :D

The hardest parts of this piece for me are
- bar 19, second beat (to not let the pinky mute 'e' on the 4th string)
- bar 20, first beat (jumping the pinky 4 strings)
- bar 23, the combination of making the pull of sound good and doing the chord changes swiftly. I'm not sure why it is so difficult to make that bar sound good. I'm not even sure whether it's a left or right hand issue. I think I need to analyze that in slow motion (once again!)
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by EricKatz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:34 pm

Marko Räsänen wrote: I play the 'e' note on open string, which probably makes things a little easier.
Yes, it does! But doesn't the score says we must do it on the second string...
Now I prefer to get back to rehearsing and playing the piece, instead of discussing the fingering. :contrat:

Marko Räsänen wrote: He tends to use that kind of 'reversed' fingering in many places, and usually the motive is that one of the fingers can be used as a pivot. He uses the concept so much in D05 lessons, that I think he wants us to learn it :D .
"Reversed": that's exactly how I experience it. :? But I'll give it a try!

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:14 pm

Eric de Vries wrote:
Marko Räsänen wrote: I play the 'e' note on open string, which probably makes things a little easier.
Yes, it does! But doesn't the score says we must do it on the second string...
My score says that the following 4 notes (f#, g, a, f#) are to be played on the 2nd string. It doesn't say anything about the 'e'. Don't let the boxed section fool you.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:21 pm

Sorry Eric, I forgot to tell you that I did some other changes to fingering in measure 21. My upper voice now goes 0, 2, 4, 0, 3, 4, and lower voice 1, 3, 1. It feels very natural to me, and I think Professor Delcamp plays it the same way in his video.
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by EricKatz » Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:57 pm

Marko Räsänen wrote:My score says that the following 4 notes (f#, g, a, f#) are to be played on the 2nd string. It doesn't say anything about the 'e'. Don't let the boxed section fool you.
I need better glasses :oops: :oops:

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:48 am

I decided to record the minuet today, mainly because I wanted to hear myself how it sounds (and therefore didn't went through the trouble of setting up video recording equipment). I have been practicing it with constant tempo mainly (i.e. no rubato), although I do play it at various speeds. The tempo in the recording is my 'average' one.
Bach_minuet.mp3
I realize most of you haven't started with this piece yet, but I will appreciate your feedback nevertheless. For some reason I am finding it very hard with this piece to judge how will it sound in the ears of someone who doesn't play it themselves. I would like to have more legato on the bass, and at the same time less string noise, which can be difficult to achieve. Also any thoughts about interpretation are more than welcome.

Thank you for listening!
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by EricKatz » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:40 pm

Very well done, Marko! :bravo: A great result in those few days after the lesson was posted. :bravo:
The upper voice is played with great care, the bass notes are timed well.

I believe lots of those string noices will disappear when the tempo goes up and when your fingers are 100% fit to the piece so they can play a bit more relaxed.
I noticed that you try to give the first count an accent, but the contrast in volume with the rest of the bar isn't enough. (The phrases should fly like a butterflie, gentle and light).
A few little things: in bar 8 the g (3rd string) doesn't ring long enough as far as I can hear. And I would prefer a less abrupt stop after bar 16.

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:09 pm

:merci: Eric!

I can only wish I would be able to play this piece at this level after less than a week's practice time. But I have been practicing this several weeks already, along with other pieces, so I cannot take credit for being that fast learner.

I agree with you that my playing on the recording was a bit stiff, and there was too much accentuation. I think that's at least partly caused by the stress brought on by the recording. A faster tempo would also make it a bit lighter.

You are correct about the g note in bar 8. Most of the time my left hand fingers fretting the 4th string mute it. Sometimes I manage to keep it ringing, but in this recording I wasn't concentrating on that. Bar 16 is even more problematic, because I need to lift my index finger from the 6th string, and move it to 4th, preferably avoiding any extra noises, so some gap between the bass notes will be unavoidable, I think, unless I play the first bass note of bar 17 on open string, contrary to how it's indicated in the music sheet. Or maybe I should just slow down more at the end of the first part?
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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by EricKatz » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:51 pm

I recognize the problem that you damp a string by accident. Indeed it needs a lot of concentration to avoid it.

I think you ought to slow down a bit for musical reasons, that also gives you a little bit more time to make the change. It's easier when you think of your 4th finger as a kind of pivot. If you hold your 1th finger a bit like in the barré position (flat on the fretboard), you only have to move it down, shift up to the V position and then raise it again. Keeping your finger upright makes it more difficult.
I hope this helps, because I couldn't see if you did that already :D

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Re: D05 Classical guitar lesson 03

Post by Marko Räsänen » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:31 pm

Eric de Vries wrote:I think you ought to slow down a bit for musical reasons, that also gives you a little bit more time to make the change. It's easier when you think of your 4th finger as a kind of pivot. If you hold your 1th finger a bit like in the barré position (flat on the fretboard), you only have to move it down, shift up to the V position and then raise it again. Keeping your finger upright makes it more difficult.
I hope this helps, because I couldn't see if you did that already :D
I'm not sure myself anymore how did I do it, but I tried that part again, and it isn't too difficult to make the move faster without extra string noise, so I think in the recording it was more of a case me playing it safe, i.e. not wanting to mess up a recording that was reasonably good up until that point. That was a good catch from you, because I didn't notice it myself when I first played back the recording, and now that you mentioned it, it annoys me every time I listen to it :D

I'm planning to do videos of the required pieces and the exercise probably mid next week. I like the Ländler very much, so I'll record that one too. Preludio by Arcas is technically very challenging, so if I feel ready to have a go at recording it, that will probably be at the very end of the lesson.

Thank you once again for your comments!
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